>> Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I found this little gem at Chapters today for $2! Gotta love that annual hardcover sale! Hopefully it'll help with goal number one on my 101 things to do in 1001 days list!


The List

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have made some more progress on my list of 101 Things to do in 1001 days. It is so gratifying to be meeting goals! I love nothing more than being able to scratch items of a to-do list, especially a list of things that I actually want to do, as opposed to just a shopping list or list of errands. Without further ado...

The Update:

#6--we got professional family photos done. We posted an add on Craigs List saying that we were a family on a budget requesting a photographer looking for people to photograph for their portfolio, and let me say, we got TONS of responses. It was actually kind of ridiculous. We would up finding a great photographer who came and did both indoor portraits of us in our home, and more casual outdoor photos in the woods beside our house, and we are thrilled with the pictures. We would up using them on our Christmas card and everything. So if you're like me, and you find studio portraits to be kind of cheesy and contrived, but you can't afford to pay an established professional photographer to come out and take pictures of your family, I would highly suggest you try Craigslist. Our photos were free, and we just tipped her what we could afford.

#3--This Christmas I made three new recipes for my family, so I am making progress on goal number three. I made Homemade Turtles, a Pillsbury Christmas Tree, and Cheese balls. This also took care of #28, as I gave away the Turtles as well as chocolate covered pretzels as Christmas gifts.

                                                               Pillsbury Christmas Tree:

Cheese Balls:

#15--We took our Sweet Baboo to a breakfast with Santa, and it was great! It was much better than waiting in line for 2 hours to pay $25 for a picture. Instead we paid $10, all got breakfast, and got to hang out with Santa. Plus there was limited registration, so there were only 10 families there, which was great. No germy crowds to worry about in flu season. I highly recommend it.

#30--I don't know if this goal has been completed yet, but its underway. I attended my first mom's group and it was great, so once I finish out the season (it resumes in January and ends in May), then I will consider myself to have completed this goal. Hopefully I'll walk away with some friends and continue going once it starts up again in September.

#53-The photobook I ordered from Shutterfly is here! I am happy that I now have these memories of my pregnancy and first days with my son in print form, but I ordered a soft cover book and now wish I'd ordered a hard cover. They are much more professional-looking and durable, which is important since I am hoping to cherish these photos forever, and keep them not only for me and my children, but for their children as well. Just a heads up!

#55--I had a gift certificate to Wee Piggies and Paws, so I got a cast done of our Sweet Baboo's hand. It looks GREAT! It came out much better than I expected. We got a heart shaped one done and we love it. It is now hanging proudly on our living room wall.

#56 was try a holiday drink at Starbucks other than the Peppermint Mocha--I tried the Starbucks Creme Brulee Latte! It was allright! After that, though, I discovered the Gingerbread Hot Chocolate at Tim Hortons, and it definitely wins my vote for best holiday drink! Plus, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg--always an added bonus! I think I got one every time I went out to run an errand this holiday season.

#58--goal 58 was buy musical instruments for our son, and he is now to proud owner of a Tabourine! He mostly just chews on it, but he does enjoy the sounds it makes!

#62 was to fill out our son's baby book. Seeing as I didn't have a baby book for him, it was kind of difficult. I've just been keeping track of his milestones on a list at the side of this blog so I wouldn't forget, and yesterday The Hubbs and I went to Chapters for their hardcover sale and I picked out an awesome baby book that I LOVE.

 It has a literary theme to it, with quotes from classic childrens' books like "The Little Red Hen", "Charlotte's Web", "Hop on Pop" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go" in it. The illustrations are also just darling. I can't wait to fill it out with facts and pictures. I will not do what my mom did and procrastinate! My baby book is the saddest looking thing you've ever seen. It has one picture and a couple lines filled in here and there, but mostly its empty. Oh, mom.

#95 was buy a new camera, which The Hubbs took care of for me this Christmas! I am so excited and thrilled to finally have a D-SLR, and there will be a blog post in the near future of reasons why I love my new camera, complete with photo comparisons from my old point and shoot and my new Canon 30D!

So far I think the completion of this list is going well! I can't wait until I have crossed off all 101!


Best. Christmas. Ever.

>> Saturday, December 26, 2009

My baby's first Christmas ever was also my best Christmas ever, for the following reasons:

1) For the first year in as long as I can remember, there was absolutely NO FIGHTING among our extended family members (my parents or sister). I think its because my father usually causes the problems, but he was on his best behaviour since my Mom has told him that she is through with him as soon as she can afford an attorney. He is trying desperately to win her back. It's really very sad (read: pathetic, not tragic). But it resulted in a very peaceful and amicable Christmas for us all. We celebrated with them on Christmas Eve so we could reserve Christmas morning and most of Christmas day for our little family of three.

2) The Hubb's parents phoned, and we actually had a friendly, casual warm conversation. I have not spoken to them in almost 2 years, and we just recently got into contact again after Baboo was born. It feels like things are getting back on the right track, and I am thankful. I just want peace, I want everyone to get along. The Hubbs also got to speak to all of his siblings for the first time since we left, and that was awesome for him. I am happy for him.

3) I got a D-SLR! A Canon 30d, to be exact! I am so stoked! D-SLRS are way out of our price range, but The Hubbs managed to find one on Ebay (he said he searched Ebay every day for a month). I'm just thrilled to finally be able to take high quality photos of my son. It is so frustrating to have a camera that you've outgrown (we had a FujiFilm prosumer point&shoot). I can't wait to learn all about it and finally be able to capture our memories in the quality in which they deserved to be captured.

4) Finally, every time I looked at our little one, my heart swelled with joy. It is simply amazing to be a mother at the holidays. It adds a whole new element to everything.  I cannot even express in words the joy that I have felt during our first family Christmas together. I have considered the Hubbs and I to be a family since before we were even engaged, but having a son does add something else to the family of two that we already were. For one thing, we are now related by blood. Our son has half The Hubbs' DNA and half mine. But I also think that its just wonderful that we are united through a common bond like never before. It's not my interests and his interests that we're trying to reconcile anymore when we make decisions. We are both driven by what's best for our little guy. He is the one thing that we both love equally, with 100% of our hearts and souls. He really is the best gift ever.

Though don't worry, I won't leave you hanging--there'll be a blog post in the near future about all the material things that were exchanged this Christmas, complete with rating system. And maybe after that there'll be a post-Christmas sales list of bargains, though we usually save our "boxing day" shopping for mid-January. The sales are even better then.

Stay tuned!


Hubby Words of Wisdom # 5

>> Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Remember when you were still a fetus, Baboo?"


Problem Solved

>> Sunday, December 20, 2009

Someone just showed me this:

Yay! This is the perfect solution to our sleeping issues. We can keep our Sweet Baboo close while still getting to have our bed to ourselves (so the Hubbs won't end up moving to the futon in the middle of the night half the time), and we don't have to move him to his own room yet. It was either move him to his own room and get an Angelcare Monitor so that we can know he's okay (paranoid mama!) or buy an Arms Reach Co-sleeper. The co-sleepers are so expensive, though, and can only be used until the baby is 23 lbs, so this IKEA Gulliver option is much better. We can use it for as long as we want, and when we're ready for him to go into his own room we can transition him in the same bed he was using in our room. Yay! Plus, I love IKEA and now I have another excuse to go there and do some extra shopping.


How's This for a Hint?

>> Saturday, December 19, 2009

As promised, here is a list of the things that I ask for every year for Christmas as an adult but never get. Apparently men can't take the hint. (HOW"S THIS FOR A HINT????)

What man wouldn't want to be instructed to pick out lingerie, you ask? Why, that would be my husband. I would love to receive something like this, but he hates going into those stores. Le sigh. He can't find the right sizes, is too embarassed to ask for help, and honestly feels a little creepy. So if I want to dress up sexy and sing "Santa Baby" for the holidays, I have to pick out the attire myself.

I love the idea of giving a gift that's an experience, rather than a thing. I would be thrilled to get a gift certificate to a community centre to do some kind of class. What women wouldn't want to be given the gift of "me time"? Especially now that I'm a mom, a gift like this would be sooo appreciated. I guarantee you that it won't be one of the things that I unwrap, though. Maybe it'll be a New Years present from myself to myself.

Along with the theme of experiences, is a night in a fancy hotel or bed and breakfast. Who wouldn't want to be whisked away on a surprise vacay with the object of their affection? Well, it was like pulling teeth to even get The Hubbs to book a hotel for our wedding night. He apparently has issues comitting to a venue. I won't hold my breath for this one!

A concert, a play, or some kind of live performance is one of my favourite things to do on a date. When The Hubbs and I were still dating we went to this great dinner theatre, and I've been begging him to go back ever since!

I'm pretty sure a spa day would be the best gift ever! Especially since carrying this chubby baby around is murder on the muscles and I barely have time to wash my face, let alone get a facial!

For some reason I have always wanted a diamond snowflake to wear in the winter. It's Christmassy without being tacky, and after all, it suits me! I'm one of a kind! (Or maybe just flakey).

Cashmere, baby! Nuff said!

Now, the Hubbs assures me that my gift this year has taken the most effort he has ever put into a present, so I'm very interested to see what it is! I'm sure I will love it, because even though I joke around about him "never getting the hint", he actually is a pretty fantastic and thoughtful gift giver! Maybe there's a post in the near future about some of my favourite gifts I've received from him over the years. Nothing can top this one, though:

Not to be a cornball, but my little boy is the best gift ever!


All I Want for Christmas is a Silent Night

>> Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lately, I have been questioning myself as a mom. I'm sure there will be many moments when I second-guess my decisions, so I should probably get used to it. My little one turned 5 months old yesterday, and I realized, I have a 5 month old that doesn't sleep through the night. I haven't had an unbroken nights' sleep in over 5 months. I know that 5 months is still pretty young, but there are other things too. For instance, unless he's in his carseat or stroller, my son won't nap anywhere but on my lap or in my arms.  I can sometimes succeed in putting him down after he's already asleep, but he won't fall asleep without me holding him during the day. At night, he is now able to fall asleep without being held. He breastfeeds, then rolls over and goes to sleep on his own. But he will NOT do so in his crib. I've tried giving him a bottle while he's lying down in there in the hopes that when he was done eating he'd do the same thing he does in our bed, but he won't. He's done it once, maybe twice, but usually what happens is that he just rolls around and wants to play in there, and then he gets overtired and cries. Then I pick him up because I don't feel comfortable just letting him cry when I'm in a position to comfort him, and he usually wants to breastfeed, and he'll do so for a minute or two and then fall asleep.

Then I can sometimes transfer him to his pack and play, sometimes not. I wonder if it is my fault that he can't sleep on his own. I remember when he was 3 weeks old, my grandmother telling me that I needed to put him down when he napped so that he'd learn to sleep on his own. But I didn't want to put him down. My biological drive to hold him constantly was so strong that putting him down seemed like torture to me. Plus, he was so tiny and squishy that he was easy to hold. Now he is a lot bigger and a lot heavier. His legs hang over the side of my lap when he sleeps on me, and my limbs fall asleep from his weight. Sleeping curved around him in bed is getting more challenging because he's so much taller, but I can't just let him sleep independently in our bed because I'm afraid he'll roll onto the floor, or end up getting smothered by the covers or something. I use my body as a wall to protect him, and as a result, my back, neck and hips hurt. Ouch. But now I'm in the position of having conditioned my baby to only fall asleep with me right there.

Then there's the issue of him still waking several times a night to eat. I'm tired, and of course I dream of eight uninterrupted hours of sleep, though I'd even take him waking one time, sleeping in two 4 hour intervals. But he's up 2, 3 even 4 or 5 times a night some nights. And they say that this is because I'm beside him and he knows he can eat, so of course he's going to wake up for a snack.

I have to say that I feel like now he's waking up out of habit, rather than because he's actually hungry. I think this because for 2 out of 3 night wakings, he usually eats for less than 2 minutes before falling back asleep. But then I think, I sleep with a glass of water next to my bed because I get thirsty. And our apartment is pretty dry. So maybe he doesn't need to eat, but maybe he does need a drink, and who I am to tell him he can't have one? Sigh.

You can see where I would be confused and frustrated about what to do. Some people say its important to have a bedtime routine so that once the routine is done, the baby just knows its time for sleep and they go down a lot easier. I wrote a about a routine way back in my blog, but honestly, we are just not routine people and the whole thing kind of just fizzled out. Plus I heard that its better not to have a routine because then your baby is more adaptable and can go to sleep anywhere, anytime, with anyone--and since I'm too lazy to recreate the exact same thing every night, this idea appealed to me. But can my baby go to sleep anywhere, anytime, with anyone? Not so much.

Just when I was working myself up into a frenzy about whether I'm wrong for not scheduling my baby, allowing him to eat whenever he wants, and generally being a crunchy, crunchy hippie by following "child led parenting", I came across this article. It is not totally against schedules, but it is against Babywise, the Attachment Parenting antithesis.

It made me feel better to know that there are some people (namely the AAP, WHO and of course API) who do not think that I am doing my son irreperable damage by raising him this way. I know there's definitely more than one way to raise a happy, healthy child, but I don't think its in my kiddo's best interest to go against my instincts. And my instincts just happen to fall in line with Attachment Parenting principles. So I guess I need to just keep doing what I'm doing and know that my son will sleep through the night when he's ready.


Still Just a Big Kid

>> Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Since the holidays wouldn't be the holidays without a little disappointment, I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about all the Christmas gifts I repeatedly asked for as a child, but never got. You'd think that as an adult I'd have more perspective, and realize that material posessions don't matter, that I am no worse for the wear, that not getting everything I wanted taught me a valuable lesson about the true meaning of Christmas. You'd think that--but you'd be wrong. I eagerly anticipate getting all of these things (or their modern, boy-appropriate equivalent) for my son and having him NOT be disappointed year after year. And yes, I know that Christmas isn't about posessions and blah blah blah, but I still want to see his little face light up. . .and of course, I will enjoy playing with the toys myself. Wink.

So without further ado: Christmas Gifts I Never Got. . .

The Easy Bake Oven. What little girl (or boy) wouldn't want something in which they could bake all their favourite treats? Well, I was no different from the other little boys and girls out there. I desperately wanted to bake my own cookies, cupcakes and squares, but year after year, I remained easy bakeless. Le sigh.

Yes, I am aware that these are gaudy and terrible, but I am still scarred by the image of my friends zipping around the neighbourhood in their battery operated cars, while I was stuck on the sidelines with my STUPID BIKE, expected to actually PEDAL to get where I wanted to go, like some kind of chump!

Ken Dolls. I have no idea why, but year after year I asked for a Ken, and year after year I continued to get only female Barbies. My solution to this, of course, was to cut off their hair, dress them in shirts and pants, and pretend that they were men. Were my parents afraid that I would act out romantic scenes between Barbie and Ken, which would lead me to eventually realize that I was interested in boys and didn't want to just spend my life hanging out with my gal pals? All I know is, that to this day when walking through the toy section, I feel a little pang when I see the various Ken dolls that my Barbies never got the pleasure of meeting.

I don't know that this very cool Eco House from Plan Toys was around when I was a kid, but I do know that I longed for a proper dolls house--not one that was made out of lego. This house is amazing. It's got solar panels, wind energy, and I believe you can purchase recycling bins and rainwater containers to go along with it. I definitely plan on buying this for my little guy in a few years. And if he's not interested in playing house? Well, I know of someone who will be playing with this toy all by herself. . .

Look at this kitchen! It's a dream! Though when I was a kid I'm sure I wanted a gaudy, brightly coloured plastic one-piece kitchen, this is definitely more my style. It's better than the kitchen I have now, actually. I loved to play with playfood in Sunday school when I was a kid, and even as a baby sitter I definitely enjoyed pretend cooking with the kids. Nothing burns that way. My son will also have a kitchen. I already have it picked out. We don't have the room or the money for the one above, but IKEA has a very sweet realistic little kitchen that I can't wait to get my hands on. To give to my son, I mean.

I asked for a Game Boy for several years in a row, then finally realized it was never going to happen. I assumed that, because we also had no Nintendo system in our home, the reason must be that my parents were philosophically opposed to these  electronic games. And so I abandoned all hope. Just this past year I was talking to my mom about the fact that we weren't allowed video games growing up, and she told me that it wasn't that we weren't allowed. She just had no idea how to choose one, and since taking us to the store with her would have ruined the surprise, we just didn't get one by default. Oh, mom. ASK THE SALES CLERK! I'm sure my husband would agree with my latent frustration, since he is forever trying to get me to play video games with him, and I am forever getting frustrated because I don't know how. I had no practice in my formative years, I'm just not good. We recently got Little Big Planet, though, and if you're like me and would like to play but just don't know how, I'd recommend starting with that. It's a video game for people who don't like video games. Nothing comes out to kill you (at least on the levels I've seen), and you get to dress up your character and then randomly place stickers everywhere. Does it get any better than that?

Up Next: Christmas gifts I've asked for as an adult, year after year, but never get. (I'll be making sure the Husband reads that one!)


Christmas Prep

>> Saturday, December 12, 2009

So, I realize my last post was a little bit lacking. I was having a bad day. Big fight with The Hubbs = Sad. Things have been very stressful for him lately. He's been having a really hard time concentrating and its starting to affect his schoolwork. Everything he does in school counts for so much, so I understand why he's been stressed and not quite himself. However, it is definitely taking a toll on me when it seems that every little setback, whether its the power going out in our bedroom, someone cutting him off in traffic, or an inability to find something that he wants at the store leads to a major, hair-pulling, expletive using breakdown. If men can have post-partum depression (and I hear that they can), then I wouldn't be surprised if that's what this is. He is just not himself. I miss the man I married :(

What's worse, he went to the doctor a few weeks ago to ask for medication, and she didn't prescribe anything for him. She said its normal for him to feel this way and he should work through it using natural remedies. I know that meds aren't always the answer, but it took a lot for my husband to go down there and admit that he needed help, and I feel very frustrated that she doesn't seem willing to realize that and help him. Now I don't know if he will be willing to go back. I'm afraid that he will feel like he's begging. I just want him to be the happy, positive person that he was when we met.

In other news, we are just about done our Christmas shopping--yay! We have only to pick up a couple gift cards to mail out with the Christmas photo cards we had printed from Shutterfly, and then we'll be done, done, done. I'm excited, to say the least, because the malls and stores have been absolute mad-houses the past couple of weeks. I feel bad for people who wait til the last minute--I cannot handle those crowds! I am in awe of people who can!

Our tree is up, our nativity scene is out, and our freezer is packed with many of the ingredients that I'll need for our Christmas meal.

The only other Christmas prep I have left to do includes wrapping the mountains of toys I could not resist getting for our Baboo on his first Christmas, and the making of candy and baking of cookies. I'm making gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies, as well as chocolate covered pretzels, which I'm told are super easy.

Then after Christmas I have a couple weeks where The Hubbs will be off school and taking most of the responsibility of taking care of Boo, so that I can go full steam ahead on my schoolwork. I'm a little nervous about my abilities, but I'm hoping that it all comes back to me and I can just go, go, go.

I have made progress on several of my goals on my 101 in 1001 list, but I will save that update for another post. I'm going to go spend some time with my adorable boys.



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